HRC 41 | Concern over media censorship, the limit of democratic activity and human rights violations in Burundi


In a statement delivered during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, ISHR highlighted concerns over the recent closure of the OHCHR’s branch in the country, the closure of radio stations, and the serious human rights violations that are being committed by the government against its citizens.

In the statement delivered by Armel Niyongere on behalf of ISHR, the current reality of the unfair treatment of the Burundi people and the country's recent efforts to limit democratic participation was denounced. His statement highlighted the recent detainment of human rights defender Germain Rukuki and the treatment individuals, like him, are often subjected to under the government regime. Citizens are often beaten, sildenced, killed, forced to disappear, and tortured if they are suspected of criticizing the government, their human rights violations, and advocating for the protection and the promotion of the rights of the people in Burundi.

In his statement, Niyongere makes note of the recent closure of the radio offices of BBC and VOA by the government in their efforts to limit freedom of expression and press. As expressed by the Commission of Inquiry of Burundi, the country has seen the recent closure of the branch of the OHCHR and many NGOs have been suspended to continue their activity in Burundi. These actions taken by the government have shown their commitment to concealing the reality of the situation in the country in an effort to step out of the lens of scrutiny of the International Community.

With these recent limits on freedom of expression, assembly, and information, and serious human rights violations being committed by the government, Niyongere, called for Burundi to commit to allow democratic activity and process to ensure free and fair elections in 2020. In his statement, Niyonere urges the government to reopen the UN human rights office and to cooperate with all UN mechanisms, including the Commission of Inquiry, to improve the human rights situation of the country.

Contact: Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Advocacy Consultant,

Photo: UN WebTV





  • Africa
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • Human rights defenders
  • NGOs
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • Burundi